Here’s the official edited transcript of Jason’s chat on AOL Feb 19
TV Guide on AOL presented a chat with Jason Behr of “Roswell.” Jason answered AOL members’ questions about his character, Max, what he thinks of his fans, and more.
Scroll down to read the full transcript…
Dan: Welcome to everyone, and welcome to AOL Live’s chat with Jason Behr, star of “Roswell,” which airs on Mondays at 9 on The WB. Thanks for being here with us, Jason. For those who may not know, give us a brief description of what the show is about and who your character is.
Jason Behr: …who go through life [as] teenagers. I play Max. He found out that he was [not] of this planet sometime in the second season, which started the alien mythology.
Dan: One of our members has a question: Will Max and Liz be getting back together this season?
Jason Behr: I am not actually sure how that is going to go, the relationship between — the two of them have been through so much. I’m not sure what they are going to do.
Jason Behr: I’ve been acting quite a bit since I was a kid — a way for me to channel my youthful exuberance, I guess. I had a lot of energy when I was a kid.
Question: If you weren’t acting, what would you see yourself doing?
Jason Behr: Probably — I really have no idea. That is the only thing I can do.
Jason Behr: …for a balance between the two of them. When we have a story that involves both the darky, edgy science fiction elements and the relationships, those are the most interesting stories. When you have too much of either one of them, you can turn off certain viewers. It’s nice to have a balance between the two of them.
Jason Behr: I think high school is such an important part of a lot of people’s lives, either good or bad. I think high school [leaves] very lasting impressions, whether they like it or don’t like it. It also helps when you are walking through lockers, have a backpack — the environment sort of works on the stage — and sort of remember those times.
Question: Do you enjoy fame, or would you prefer an ordinary life?
Jason Behr: To be honest, I am working so much, I’m really not outside just hanging out and on the streets, I really work all the hours on the show.
Dan: What’s it like being recognized out in public? Are you bothered by people coming up to you?
Jason Behr: If anyone ever comes up and says anything, it’s usually very complimentary, and that kind of stuff usually puts a smile on your face.
Question: What has been your favorite episode this season and last?
Jason Behr: It’s a toss-up from either — the pilot has been my favorite. The first episode was very powerful. All the actors gave real strong performances. I thought there was a nice balance of the comedy between Michael and his battle, and the drama of Max’s situation, and the stranger that he let die. I think that was one of the more powerful episodes.
Question: Do you relate to your character in any way?
Jason Behr: Sometimes. There is always a little bit of yourself in the characters that you play. You forget about who you are when you’re playing these characters. I think Max is a little more indecisive, and understandably so — he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is a little shy, a little hesitant and a little indecisive.
Dan: On the show, you’ve not only played Max Evans, but also a New York version of Max, a future version of Max, and an army officer in 1947. Is it liberating to be able to play different charactes within the same show?
Jason Behr: Absolutely. Whenever you are doing a season of a series, you are playing the same character over and over again, it’s always refreshing to do something different. The New York version of Max, I was only on there for the very first minute of the show. I think all the actors were going for a very different take on their New York counterparts. I think the general idea was to take these characters and kind of play What If — what if they grew up without parental supervision, sort of free reign with their abilities. Quite different characters, quite different animals.
Question: Do you know if there is a sure third season to Roswell?
Jason Behr: We don’t know yet. Nobody has told us if we are or are not coming back. It’s always an issue when we come near the end of the season. I don’t know of any of these shows that have been picked up for the next season. Well, the fans were very helpful last year, allowing people to really see it. The show is being watched, and… it should stick around, but I’m not sure.
Question: Jason, have you learned anything about yourself while playing Max? If so, what did you learn?
Jason Behr: I learned that I need a lot more sleep than I get. I’ve learned that. I guess Max has a certain humanity that is both frustrating and refreshing, because I think he sees the world through different eyes than I do. I guess I’ve learned to be a little more open-minded about things, always have a better question about who he is and what he isn’t.
Question: Who do you admire the most in the world, living or dead?
Jason Behr: First and foremost, my mother. A lot of beliefs in me and values that I use every day — she’s been my hero as long as I can remember. Other than that, career-wise, I admire Paul Newman, probably who stands out most. No particular film — every film that he does, he is amazing in. I can’t think of one film that he has done that I said I didn’t like his performance. If I look at someone’s career that mirrors that, it would be Paul Newman. He is a true representative of class. He makes a helluva salad dressing. More money is made on Newman’s brand name than his films, and all the money his company makes goes to charity. To me, that is doing something with who you are.
Question: Hey, Jason, I want to be an actor on TV just like you! What advice can you give me to pursue my dream in television?
Jason Behr: The best advice that I could probably give anybody — to believe in themselves. Don’t let anyone tell you that things are not possible, because they are possible.
Dan: Now before “Roswell,” you had some memorable guest-starring roles on two WB shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dawson’s Creek.” What were those experiences like? At the time you were on those shows, did you have any inkling that the network might want to give you a starring role in a new show?
Jason Behr: I kind of just happened. I was in North Carolina when I read the script for Roswell. The character was so different than the one I was playing on that show.
Dan: Were you into scf-fi at all before you started on “Roswell”?
Jason Behr: I think anybody around my age was into science fiction at my age — Star Wars, ET, Battlestar Galactica, — it was kind of normal to be a science fiction buff. To that degree, it fascinated me.
Dan: As I’m sure you know, there are a ton of websites out there about “Roswell,” as well as sites just about you. Have you ever checked out those sites?
Jason Behr: The Internet fascinates me. It allows people to exchange information so freely. Its innovative and scary at the same time, because sometimes I wonder how much of this information is true. You have to consider the source. So weird — I can talk with somebody in Japan…. The technology is great, but I am not quite comfortable with it, and I don’t surf the Net as often as I should.
Dan: What’s it like knowing that there are all those people out there following your career, putting up pictures of you, gossiping about you. Is it at all flattering, or is it just creepy?
Jason Behr: Absolutely, it’s very flattering. They don’t need to do this, they don’t need to spend the time doing this… it’s very flattering. It’s kind of surreal. I never expected that kind of stuff when I got into this. It’s very flattering.
Question: Are you good friends with the cast? Who’s your favorite?
Jason Behr: It’s funny, the very first few months before we started working on the show, we hung out a lot. We decided to get to know each other before we started working those long hours. We found ourselves spending so much time on the set that when we would leave the set, we would go live our own lives. We’ve been getting a lot better as we’ve sort of got used to the schedule. We are hanging out a lot more now than we have in a long time.
Dan: Do you ever play any pranks on your costars to stay loose on the set?
Jason Behr: Not really .. we’re pretty good to each other. There’s no real super huge pranks or anything like that. Every now and then, that might have happened. We have a thing that we could…. Some of the cast members just get more fiber.
Question: Do you have another passion, aside from acting?
Jason Behr: I like to spend a lot of time with my family. It’s the most important thing to me. But I spend a lot of time outdoors with my family and my dog, spend a lot of time with my dog. I like to play basketball a lot. I’m really a student of film; I really enjoy the film process. I watch as many movies as I can, when I have free time.
Dan: How far in advance is the cast of show told about upcoming storylines, upcoming character developments? For example, do you know yet what’ll happen on the season finale?
Jason Behr: It depends on — the beginning of the season, you pretty much know what is going on the first half of the year. Things keep popping up; you have no idea. I could not tell you what is happening in the next episode. Other than the one we are shooting right now, I don’t know what is happening.
Question: Jason, I love you! My name is Adriana, and my question is, what do you think is the hardest scene youve done on Roswell?
Jason Behr: There are two kinds of really difficult scenes. They are the ones that are physically draining — like there is this one scene where I had to run through the streets of Roswell. We probably started shooting around 1:00 and didn’t stop shooting until 6 in the morning. All I did was run — no dialogue, just running. That was very physically draining. There are also ones that are emotionally draining, like when Max heels the children in the hospital. Me — just being there, and the whole idea of trying to give these kids the gift back — it was very emotionally draining to me.
Question: What’s the hardest part of Max’s personality for you to portray?
Jason Behr: Probably his decision-making. A lot of times — what frustrates me about the character, a lot of times he is so cautious and so thoughtful of things, he doesn’t know which way to go. He sometimes can be so cautious, almost paralyzing. He doesn’t do anything. He needs to be more active and make decisions right along. At least he could say that he made a judgment.
Question: Any movies on the horizon?
Jason Behr: Right now, most of my focus is on the show. I would love to do films. I enjoy watching films, as I said before. I enjoy the whole process of it. When I get the opportunity to move into that venue, I will. Right now, the scripts I’ve been reading, the stories that are being told, are not the most unique stories out there. I’m just waiting for the right one.
Dan: Is there anything you can tell us about what will happen on the show later this season?
Jason Behr: There are some things that are going to happen in the next few episodes that really do change the lives of all these kids, some things that are going to come up that aren’t really expected, or expected in a way that none of them are really ready for.
Dan: Have there been times when you’ve read a script for an episode and just thought, Wow, I can’t believe what Max is doing … ?
Jason Behr: Probably when Max sang. I couldn’t believe they did that to him. There is this episode called End of the World — this future version of Max comes back to present-day Roswell to break up Liz and Max. The younger Max tries to sing to her, and I was really surprised by that. I knew Max couldn’t sing, so I don’t know why he was.
Question: Have you heard anything about viewers wanting Roswell to bring the core characters and relationships back as the focus of the show? Are there plans to guide Roswell back into that direction?
Jason Behr: These Hybrid Chronicles are pretty science fiction-based. We are going to slow it down a bit and find out how it affected the characters, swing it back the other way.
Dan: Is it cool knowing that you and the rest of the cast were hip to Dido before anyone else?
Jason Behr: It’s interesting, because when we were first doing the pilot, we heard some temp music of what the theme was going to be. We didn’t want that thing like Dawsons Creek, like a one-hit wonder. We really didn’t want that. The first time we heard Dido, it felt so appropriate and so perfect to the show. I haven’t got sick of it yet, and I think she is very talented, and I am very happy with her success. I think her teaming up with Eminem helped her incredibly. She is a very talented artist. To have her lead the show, it’s great.
Dan: Have you ever met her?
Jason Behr: She had come to Los Angeles during the first season and gave a concert. A few of the cast members were able to go, but I was working, and I couldn’t be there. I was kind of pissed, because I wanted to be there.
Dan: One of the producers of the show is Jonathan Frakes, who was on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Did he have any advice for the cast about what it’s like to become a sci-fi icon and how to deal with fans?
Jason Behr: Not so much advice on how to deal with fans, but how to deal with the pressure, I guess. Frakes is a great guy and directed a few episodes last year. He is a lot of fun to work with. He has a great personality that is good for the cast and the crew. He is a lot of fun to be around.
Dan: Are you able to give input into scripts?
Jason Behr: Sure, that’s one of the nice things about it, you can always give suggestions to Jason for what you believe could be a good character arc, or what you think your character should be doing at this time. It’s up to him at the time, [as to] what his character wants to do, but he is very polite.
Dan: Is it fair to say that Max has gotten more burdened by responsibility since the show began?
Jason Behr: Absolutely. I think from the very first show, his world was turned upside down. He was exposing himself to Liz, and the cafe changed his life forever. As the days go on, his responsibility of keeping this all a secret and not being discovered — I think the discovery of being the supposed king of this so-called planet is a huge responsibility. He never asked for this responsibility and doesn’t know how to feel that responsibility. I think he has a lot of pressure on him. He is going through a lot of stuff and has a lot of pressure.
Dan: Well, unfortunately, our time is now up. Jason Behr, it was a pleasure talking to you on AOL. And let’s remind everyone to watch “Roswell” tonight and every Monday at 9PM on The WB. Thanks to everyone for their great questions.
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